I have had the same best friend for the past 34 years. She and I have been together a very long time. We met each other in church one afternoon. We were about nine years old at the time. We didn’t get along very well at first but something about her grew on me and I guess something about me grew on her. I began spending weekends at her house. Weekends turned into extended holiday weekends. Extended holiday weekends turned into week long vacations and those turned into staying entire summer breaks. I can remember one summer being so excited to stay with her and her family that I didn’t even wait for my mother to get off work to drop me off. I packed this big old blue suitcase then went and stood out at the bus stop. We lived in San Francisco at the time and she lived on a hill. There were no cellphones back then so I couldn’t call her for help dragging that suitcase up that hill. But as I rounded the corner to her house, there she was waiting in the window. She ran down to help me drag the suitcase in the house. It was the best summer ever!
Over the years our friendship has remained strong. I talk to her almost everyday and I try to see her at least once a year since we live on opposite coasts. Although we’ve grown as women and changed in many ways our friendship, love and respect for one another has never diminished. I think one of the reasons why our relationship works as well as it does is because no matter what is going on in our lives, 1) we are always there for each other and 2) we make it a point to always tell each other the truth. Sometimes that truth hurts because it’s not always what we want to hear but being a true friend means that sometimes you have to hurt the feelings of the one you love in order to help them grow into better people.
Personally, I am grateful to have her as a friend because when I’m wrong, she’s not afraid to tell me I’m wrong. What I have come to know is that when she does put me in my place, it comes from her heart and love for me. She doesn’t want me going around being blinded by my own rose colored glasses. She knows just as well as I do that that isn’t going to help me to be the best me I can be.
So, let me just leave you with this, don’t co-sign on your friends’ foolishness. If you know that what they’re saying, doing or how they’re acting is not in line with their authentic selves, tell them the truth but make sure that truth is coming from a place of love. As long as you are co-signing their foolishness, they will continue to lie to themselves and live a life that is not purposeful at all.
Bringing out the best in ourselves and each other…:)